Lunch is being served in the den and I am finally able to eat a little. I can see through the window as James drives up. He comes through the front door with a small grin, gives me a kiss and brings out of his pocket a little package wrapped in noticeable Jewel Box paper and bow. James looks into my eyes and tells me ( we are alone) that this is for me from him and James, Jr. in honor my first Mother's Day which is Sunday. I open it up and there is a beautiful emerald ring with diamonds. It is just perfect! Not too big or small....just perfect and it fits! I was so excited and very moved at this unexpected gift that I start up with the crying again....but with a peak of happiness and joy in spite of my grief. That was my James, so loving and thoughtful. How could he even think of picking out a ring for me during his own grief? But he did think of me, the mother of his firstborn son, his namesake. My MIL mother walked in about this time wanting to know what all the commotion was about. I showed her my ring with joy! My gift remembrance of our stillborn son from James The first words out of her mouth to me was that I couldn't accept that expensive ring! She said I shouldn't expect James to have to pay for this kind of gift. What? Why did she have to be so negative and mean? I hated her for ruining my special gift! And she did ruin it. She went on and on about we needed the money to put on a new house and the bills it would entail. I relented with her guilt trip and asked James to take the ring back for something less expensive. Perhaps a baby charm to wear around my neck. So that is what he did.
Friday came. It marked the one week anniversary of James, Jr.'s stillbirth. I was in a real funk. James and I wanted to spend the day by our son's grave and then go home to our home. Oh no! We were to stay at my in-laws until Sunday. I am weak with grief and so is James. What could another night or two do? As we soon learned, alot! Sunday morning arrived and we prepared to go home. After my morning soak, my MIL tossed an outfit at me. She told me I was not to put on maternity clothes anymore, but regular clothes. This outfit had elastic pants and I should be fine. I told her I was just going to wear my robe as we were going straight home. Oh no we weren't. She informed James and me that we were going over to JA's house because she was having the family over for a Mother's Day lunch. What I needed was going home to suffer through Mother's Day by myself, not in front of a bunch of people glaring at the mother of the dead baby! Unfortunately, when a baby dies, people do look at your every move to see how you react to things. It is not that I imagine this, it is reality. It happens! My MIL was relentless is hammering away at us about going. Then James said that we would drop by for a little while. I could not believe my ears. James just didn't want trouble. Neither did I, but look who kept causing it? The strain of what happened in the next few hours caused me years of emotional trauma. Before we left the house to go the Mother's Day lunch, my MIL pulled me aside and said that I was to never speak of my my baby again in her house, around her or my FIL, friends, our minister or anyone else. They wouldn't want to hear my woes. It would embarrass the Fitts family name, and most of all I was not to burden James with talk of the baby. He had to get to work and not have to be worrying about me. I can not begin to express how I felt at that moment. It was unbelievable! I was flooded with all kinds of emotions. The hurt was like a knife just chopping me up into tiny pieces. Here was a woman I thought loved me and cared for me. I had not only loss my son that week, but the mother-in-law that I had loved and looked up to for the past five years. I just had no idea she could be so cruel. But she was going to get that knife out again at the luncheon and finish me off.
I felt like a fish out of water at a Mother's Day lunch just a week after I had buried my son. My mind was in a whirl. Why did JA have to have a big affair about Mother's Day this year? She never had before. Why did I have to attend? Why did she have to invite so many people that I didn't even know? Why she had turned this into one big party! I endured the lunch at the dining room table with the silver, best linens, flowers, gift table to one side, laughter and such. THEN MY MIL SAID IN FRONT OF ME THE CRUELEST OF ALL THINGS AS PRESENTS WERE BEING OPENED BY THE OTHER MOTHER THERE FROM THEIR CHILDREN....... AND I QUOTE, " ISN'T BEING A MOTHER THE MOST WONDERFUL THING EVER?" May God have mercy on you woman for being so cruel. You too, JA because you just had to have the party!
I got up and walked out of the house. James followed. My MIL wanted to know where we were going. I mumbled something about sitting too long for my hurting bottom. I have never gotten over the trauma of those words, that party, and the denial of my son's birth. I went home delirious. My mind went wild. I couldn't cope with my son's death and the way I was treated. I had always been a good and thoughtful DIL. Where was this coming from? I never got an answer or apology. I didn't go back to her house or see her for many many months. James did, but not me! Then really bad trouble came when my SIL AW, brought her baby to town, remember the baby she told me she was pregnant with less than an hour after mine had died?